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Beach Ball every 15 minutes EXACTLY!

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Steve Scoville
Beach Ball every 15 minutes EXACTLY!
on Dec 29, 2011 at 4:47:24 am

This has been driving me crazy for several months!

FCP 6.0.6
OSX 10.5.8
4 x 2.5 GHz PowerPC G5
multiple Lacie external 1TB eSATA hard drives

While editing in FCP, exactly 15 minutes after I begin working, I will get the spinning beach ball. The ball appears to be activated by the space bar or any other keystroke that involves playing, fast-forwarding, rewinding, etc in the sequence or the viewer. The duration of the spinning beach ball varies from project to project and from incident to incident. There is nothing consistent about the duration at all.

Even though the "Force Quit" window and the Activity Monitor say FCP is "not responding", FCP always comes back to life after roughly 10-60 seconds of beach balling.

This happens with all types of media, from 8-bit uncompressed, to DV, to ProRes 422HQ to HDV. It doesn't matter what media or settings I'm using in the project. It happens with EVERY project on my system.

This happens EVERY 15 minutes like clock work! It's simply maddening!!!

SOLUTIONS I've tried, but to no avail:
-creating a new user
-zapping PRAM (after 20 years working with Macs, this has never fixed anything IMHO)
-trashing prefs
-it's not the auto save feature in FCP
-it's not the auto render feature in FCP
-it's not Time Machine
-it's not a drive problem (I have run DiskWarrior on all the drives and they check out fine)
-It only happens when I hit play/FF/Rewind at or very near the 15 minute mark.
-If I'm not working when the 15 minute mark hits, the problem does not happen

There are two things that may have contributed to this problem, but they're both a bit of a stretch. The only reason I'm considering them is because I seem to remember the problem starting around the time these two things happened.

One was when I introduced a vendor's media hard drive to my system. The hard drive (FW800 portable Lacie) had playback issues, but has long since been removed from my system. The other thing might be that I created a new user account so I could change my network name.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcomed with open arms.

Thanks in advance :-)

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Tom Matthies
Re: Beach Ball every 15 minutes EXACTLY!
on Dec 29, 2011 at 3:21:21 pm

Do you have the computer's power save feature set to allow your drives to spin down after a certain amount of time? Disable that "feature" if it is on. I used to have a few Lacie drives that would spin down and go to sleep. I always got the beachball during the time that they were spinning back up.


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Steve Scoville
Re: Beach Ball every 15 minutes EXACTLY!
on Dec 29, 2011 at 9:28:13 pm

Hi Tom!
Sure appreciate you chiming in. I neglected to add that I checked that setting early on and made sure it was off, so that unfortunately is not the solution.

Any other thoughts you (and others) might have would be greatly appreciated :-)


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Dan Wierling
Re: Beach Ball every 15 minutes EXACTLY!
on Dec 29, 2011 at 10:32:41 pm

Not sure if your OS has this, but in Tiger 10.4.11 under system preferences for POWER and SLEEP modes there was an option to use your dual CPU's at highest performance, or reduced performance. I always used highest, but maybe if your set for reduced something happens every 15 min with the processors. Just a shot in the dark!

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Steve Scoville
Re: Beach Ball every 15 minutes EXACTLY!
on Dec 31, 2011 at 1:36:58 am

Hey Dan!

I appreciate the insight. I've never toyed with that setting before. It appears to default to "automatic", so I tried the other settings, but to no avail. Still beach-ballin' every 15 minutes like clockwork...oy!

Thanks for the suggestion :-)

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